web + social + brand blog

Google blames software update for lost Gmail data | Digital Media – CNET News

Gmail inbox (July 2009)

Image via Wikipedia

Google blames software update for lost Gmail data | Digital Media – CNET News.

I must say this outage gives me pause.. I keep my main email on Gmail, as well as  a number extra accounts, for archives, notifications, and other uses, as well as a multitude of Gmail accounts I have setup over the years for various client operations and social media logins. I have found setting up my own Gmail account to use for a client is typically easier than getting a new email from the client’s IT department.

Even though Google assures users email will be restored “for everybody” – I have to wonder about how wise it is for me, or anyone else, to rely so much on this service.

Am I worried enough to use another service, one that would require fees? Probably not, at this point. But I think I will look into backing up more of my accounts offline, as I do with my primary email now.


Introducing an All New Box: Simplicity Remade

Introducing an All New Box: Simplicity Remade « The Box Blog – Read about new features, interviews and more.

I’ve had a Box.net account for some time now, but have just recently gotten into using it heavily. Box.net basically provides storage in “the cloud” – that amorphous thing that all the Microsoft commercials refer to lately, and you’ll find it discussed on most computer- or software-related blogs as well.

Just as I’ve been a long-time proponent of web-based email services, first with Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and now everyone’s favorite Gmail from Google, Box.net provides storage for files, as well as sharing tools that let you collaborate with others. Those “others” can be anywhere in the world, as long as they’ve got an Internet connection. I think it’s safe to say that nearly all business people these days have a connection to the Net. They can be co-workers, other freelancers, or others in your business.

Box.net offers free storage that allows for 5GB, and ramps up through a number of other storage size options aimed at individuals or business accounts, and even enterprise level accounts.

Facebook Account Verification Procedure Redux

As fun as it was the first time I was exposed to it, Facebook saw fit to throw me into the Account Verification process by ID’ing photos of my “Friends” again. The first time, it was due to logins to a business-related Profile page that were from different IPs that triggered the Account lockdown. This time, I chose to download a copy of my personal information – supposedly everything I’ve ever posted to Facebook in the way of Photos, Comments, Wall Posts, etc. – and when I logged in to download my information… BAM! I was thrown into the photo verification process.

Luckily for me, I got 5 for 5 photos, ID’ing photos where friends of mine have been tagged. I was even successful despite the photo below being one of the options. I just so happen to have a friend who works for a woodworking products magazine, so it was an easy pick.

facebook account verification process photos

This was much easier than the photo I encountered (I ranted about it here) previously – of a fake UFO photo. It’s funny though, as people will tag themselves (or be tagged by others) in photos where they don’t even appear, or for other family members, or, apparently, in photos of inanimate objects.

Chrome for a Cause: Results, Possible Future Projects

So glad to hear that the Chrome for a Cause project did so much good during its short run – an amazing 60,599,541 tabs donated to charity! A total of $1 million dollars was donated to the charities, with the tabs and associated dollar amounts, as well the actual equivalent charitable items, shown by this graphic from the Google Chrome Blog:

Well done, Chrome Community! The especially good news in all of this is the possibility that the program will continue; they’re currently looking at new opportunities for future Chrome for a Cause projects!

So, keep your extension installed… and this awesome community can do some more good – soon, I hope – in 2011!

Browse for a good cause – Does It Have to End?

The Google Chrome for a Cause extension was something else… Just one demonstration of ways in which the Web can actually Do Good.

Using this simple extension in Chrome, it kept track of the number of tabs the user opened each day. Between Dec. 15 and Dec. 19, you had the option at the end of the day to contribute your tabs to one of five charities (read more about these in my original article).

I understand this was billed as a Holiday-only type of thing, in which Google donated up to $1 million to these causes (and I never could find out for sure if that was $1 million to each charity, or $1 million in total to be split among all 5 charities (per the user’s requested donations). But is there any reason why this must end?

I’m sure that Google, and many of its employees (and former employees) are involved in many charitable endeavors, but it sure would be sweet to see this Chrome for a Cause program continue. Say pick a charity, one per week, and have it be the beneficiary of up to a $1 million donation from Google, if the number of tabs opened in that week reaches a million total, or some other arbitrary figure.

It would especially be sweet if they programmed an extension for Firefox, Internet Explorer, even Opera and Safari, too – Yes, I know the name of the program is Chrome for a Cause, but who says Google can’t offer Firefox for a Cause, Internet Explorer for a Cause, and so on?

Keep tabs on all tabs opened in these browsers, and let the donations flow! There are plenty of worthy causes, just as there are plenty of folks mindlessly browsing the web, er, make that “using the web for work-related purposes” each and every day!

So, what do you say, Google? I say let the Cause roll on!

Google Chrome Blog: Browse for a good cause.

Google Chrome Blog: Browse for a good cause

Google’s Chrome community is making it very easy to do something good this Holiday Season. The new Chrome for a Cause extension will keep tabs (haha) on how many tabs you open while browsing the web every day between Dec. 15 and Dec. 19. At the end of each day, you can choose to contribute your accumulated tabs to one of five worthy causes:

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Charity: Water
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • Un Techo para mi Pais
  • Room to Read Read more of this post

WindowsZone: OffiSync–Synchronize MS Office with Google Apps

WindowsZone: OffiSync–Synchronize MS Office with Google Apps.

OffiSync Open Document Dialog Box in MS Word 2010

Those of you either using or thinking of using the Google Apps online suite of tools will find this interesting. OffiSync, a free download, provides a toolbar for your Microsoft Office applications that allows instant access to your Google Apps document space. You can save to, and open from, your Google Apps documents as if it were just another hard drive connected to your system.

OffiSync can be downloaded and installed in less than ten minutes – more if you need to hit Google Apps and create an account. Hint: If you have a Gmail address, or a Google Account of any kind, you already have access to Google Apps. Simply go to google.com/apps and login.

If you need to sign up for Google Apps, try the free version, still available at that link.

Facebook Account Verification Process Is Broken!

I don’t know, Facebook, you tell me… Is this Joe, Drew, Jared, Dusty, Bill, or Jeremy? Looks like a flying saucer to me!


Facebook Account Verification Process - Photos

Hm.. I am not sure WHO that is, Facebook.


I work as Manager of  Internet + Social Media for a corporate holding company with around ten business units. I am working with a couple of the businesses to move their Facebook presences from a regular ID/Profile page, where people must click “Add a Friend” in order to make a connection to the business, to the much more business-friendly Fan Page. For a business, the Fan Page is the way to go; a Facebook user visits your Page, or your website (with a Like Box enabled, of course) and clicks the ubiquitous “Like” button- and presto, they’re a Fan! Read more of this post

The New Twitter Design

Designing the #newtwitter (via creative director, @stop) | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

New Twitter Design Follows the Golden Ratio

I knew there was a reason I like the new Twitter. The design is very pleasing, and so much more usable that the old feed-only view. Being able to pull up profiles, other feeds, etc. in the right-hand area, as well as the suggestions from the system as to who I should follow, etc. – is very useful.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

The red line diagram superimposed over the new Twitter layout above represents the Golden Ratio – described at length in this Mashable article New Twitter Design Based on the Golden Ratio – an “irrational” mathematical constant found in everything from art to architecture.

Whatever the ratio, I like it! The new functionality of Twitter reminds me of the immediacy and feeling of Facebook, before they started making changes to the Wall news feed. I rarely if ever visited the actual Twitter.com, preferring to use either Seesmic or TweetDeck for accessing Twitter. Not so anymore.

Google Instant Enhancements – YouTube

Hat tip to Jolie O’Dell, of Mashable, and her article Google Instant Adds Keyboard Navigation, International Expansion, for bringing to my attention. Users of Google’s new Instant Search feature will be glad to know that Google is intent on making it even “instanter” than it already is. The addition of Keyboard Navigation especially, which makes the service fall in line with many other Google offerings that boast keyboard shortcuts, will allow those who search and search often, to really speed up the process.

As you begin searching with Google Instant, you see a list of Suggested queries appear below the main search field. You can now use your Arrow Up and Down keys to navigate through this list, and as  you highlight each Suggested query, the search results below will update accordingly.

As much as the introduction of Google Instant Search rocked (temporarily) the search engine optimization (SEO) world, this new feature alone will bring that discussion to the forefront once again in the SEO community. Besides showing you a list of results, any of which are click-able as you type a search, now users can instantly change that list of search results, just using the Up and Down keys.